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Morning Notes

Motorcycle Crash Closes Columbia Pike — Columbia Pike was closed in both directions for just over two hours this morning while police investigated a serious accident. A motorcycle reportedly crashed into a minivan between S. Frederick and Dinwiddie street, near the Arlington Mill Community Center. The motorcycle rider was seriously hurt and two people in the van were also taken to the hospital. [WJLA, Twitter]

Man Arrested for Threatening FCC Chair’s Family — A California man has been arrested and charged with sending emails that threatened to murder FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s family, over his support of the rollback of net neutrality rules. Pai has two children and lives in Arlington. Per an affidavit, one of the emails “listed the names and addresses of three preschools located in or around Arlington, Virginia, followed by the following sentence: ‘I will find your children and I will kill them.'” [Gizmodo, Washington Post]

Car Fire in Cherrydale — A car caught on fire in the garage of an apartment building in Cherrydale early this morning. No one was hurt. The cause of the fire is under investigation. [Twitter, Twitter]

Plane Evacuated on DCA Tarmac — “Passengers were forced to evacuate a United Airlines plane at Reagan National Airport on Sunday after smoke was reported in the cabin… The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority said that about 1 p.m. Sunday, Houston-bound flight 6122 was taxiing for takeoff when emergency crews were called for a report of smoke in the cabin. The plane’s emergency slides were deployed, and all passengers and crew members exited ‘without incident.'” [Washington Post, Fox News]

Lee Highway Planning to Move Forward? — “It’s been delayed, delayed and delayed some more. But, Arlington’s top elected official promises, the long-awaited study of development options along the Lee Highway corridor will be up and running by the end of the year.” [InsideNova]

Photo courtesy R. Johnson

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Cherrydale’s House of Steep to Close

Despite efforts to save it over the past year, House of Steep in Cherrydale is again preparing to close its doors.

The business at 3800 Lee Highway is part tea house and part day spa, letting customers “enjoy a carefully blended pot of tea and a therapeutic foot bath with reflexology” at the same time. It was set to close at the end of 2016 when a long-time customer stepped in, bought it and revived it.

Since then the new owner, Patrick Vaughan, has taken steps to adding in-store events and applying for a license to serve wine. In an email to customers today, published below, Vaughan said it was not enough to make the business work. It is set to close on Saturday, June 23.

Dear Steepers,

What an honor it has been to be a part of the House of Steep community; unfortunately, I’m saddened to announce we will be closing our doors on June 23, 2018.

When I acquired House of Steep in January 2017, my goal was to keep alive this beloved local business and continue to provide a positive community gathering space to relax and enjoy the company of friends and family. While this chapter in the House of Steep saga may seem short-lived, it will forever hold a special place in my heart.

In realizing the on-going financial challenges of the business, we pushed for appropriate changes to our lease agreement, which were temporarily granted by the landlord. However, an agreement on permanent changes could not be attained and effective at the end of the month our lease will be terminated. I want to extend my deepest appreciation for our incredible TEAM who made every possible effort to sustain the business for as long as possible.

My sincerest thank you to you, our many wonderful customers who I have had the opportunity to meet and share time with during the past 18 months. Your support and appreciation for Steep made this an amazing experience that I will always look back on fondly.

We will do our best to honor any outstanding gift cards in the coming weeks and will maintain an inventory on our website while supplies last. Whatever the future holds, keep us in your thoughts, treat yourselves with love and always take time to relax with family and friends. Steep on!

With Love,
Patrick and the TEAm

Photo via House of Steep

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Arlington Agenda: June 4-10

Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County. If you’d like to see your event featured, fill out the event submission form.

Also, be sure to check out our event calendar.

Tuesday, June 5

Urban Agriculture: Herbs
Westover Library (788 N. McKinley Road)
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.

Attendees of this workshop will learn how to nurture a kitchen garden that will give them easy access to fresh herbs. Those interested may RSVP here. Attendance is on a first come, first served basis.

Wednesday, June 6

Defining Our Digital Destiny: The Future of Work in Arlington*
Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street)
Time: 6-8 p.m.

A panel that includes representatives from Virginia Tech and the county government will discuss how technology will affect the future of the Arlington workforce. Attendees will have the opportunity to network before the panel begins at 6:30.

Brunch and Business: The Successful Journey of an Immigrant Entrepreneur
Arlington Economic Development (1100 N. Glebe Road)
Time: 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Three Arlington entrepreneurs will discuss their paths from arriving in the United States to starting their own businesses. Admission is free, but registration is required.

Thursday, June 7

YEA! Trade Show
Ballston Center (1000 N. Glebe Road)
Time: 5-7 p.m.

The 2018 class of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy will present their new start-up businesses. Goods and services developed by YEA! students will be available for purchase.

Hip Hop Thursday Cycle Class at Ryde in Clarendon
Ryde Cycle (1025 N. Fillmore Street)
Time: 7:45-8:15 p.m.

Join certified Ryde Cycle instructors for a high-intensity cardio workout featuring rhythm-based choreography and a candle-lit studio. First time “ryders” can take advantage of a buy one get one free offer.

Friday, June 8

PRIDE Buttons
Connection Crystal City Library (2117 Crystal Plaza Arcade)
Time: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Supplies will be provided to craft unique PRIDE buttons in celebration of Pride Month. RSVP for an event reminder. Attendance is first come, first served.

Supreme Fridays
G.O.A.T. Sports Bar (3028 Wilson Blvd)
Time: 10 p.m.-2 a.m.

The first Supreme Friday at The G.O.A.T. will feature two floors of DJs and music, video games, HD TVs and more. Bar-goers can register here to skip the line.

Saturday, June 9

Unveiling of Historic Civil Rights Plaque*
Hair Vogue (3815 Lee Highway)
Time: 10:30-10:45 a.m.

A plaque honoring participants in the first day of lunch-counter protests in northern Virginia on June 9, 1960 will be placed at 3815 Lee Highway — formerly the location of the Cherrydale Drug Fair, where the sit-in occurred.

Anniversary Celebration: Cherrydale at 125
Cherrydale Branch Library (2190 Military Road)
Time: 11 a.m.

Cherrydale will commemorate the 1959 desegregation of Stratford Junior High, the 1960 Cherrydale Drug Fair sit-in and the contributions of the Cherrydale Volunteer Fire Department at the Pentagon on 9/11.

Sunday, June 10

The Arlington Triathlon*
Washington-Lee Aquatic Center (1301 N. Stafford Street)
Time: 8-10:30 a.m.

This event invites competitors aged 7-15 to participate in a run-bike-swim race to benefit the Arlington Triathlon Club. Registration information may be found online.

The Armed Forces Cycling Classic
Crystal City area (2121 Crystal Drive)
Time: 7 a.m.-3 p.m.

Competitive cyclists will compete for the Crystal Cup and cycling enthusiasts of all levels can participate in other events on the second day of the Armed Forces Cycling Classic, following Saturday’s Clarendon Cup races.

Bark in the Park*
James Hunter Park (1229 N. Herndon Street)
Time: 3-6 p.m.

Bring your dog for free live music and Smoking Kow barbecue at the Clarendon dog park. Event is presented by Clarendon Animal Care and Clarendon Alliance.

Rosé Garden
Ten at Clarendon (3110 10th Street N.)
3-6 p.m.

Free rosé from Screwtop Wine Bar and light hors d’oeuvres will be served in the Ten at Clarendon courtyard. RSVP on Facebook to attend.

*Denotes featured (sponsored) event

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Cherrydale Day Care Dispute Exposes Deeper County Board Rift

A neighborhood dispute over a Cherrydale daycare facility laid bare some deeper disagreements about the proper role of the Arlington County Board at the body’s Tuesday (May 22) meeting.

The Dalbir family day care, located at a home on the 3900 block of 17th Street N., was asking the Board for a permit to make what might seem like a minor change — instead of supervising five children at the home, its owners wanted to care for up to nine.

Yet that request touched off fierce debate on the Board, which only approved the permit on a 3-2 vote. Board members Erik Gutshall and John Vihstadt cast the dissenting votes.

The dispute largely centered around the day care facility’s impact on parking and traffic on narrow 17th Street N., just off N. Quincy Street. Some neighbors complained to the Board that the day care’s customers and employees have already caused real problems in the area, even before adding capacity for more kids.

The Cherrydale Citizens Association opposed the permit, though the day care — which has been in business for more than two decades, according to the county staff report — is not technically located within the civic association’s boundaries.

Gutshall and Vihstadt argued that those complaints demonstrated that the day care’s owners hadn’t done enough to work with their neighbors, and they supported deferring a vote on the permit. But the other Board members strongly disagreed that it was up to the Board to step into a dispute among just a handful of households.

“This is an issue for the neighbors to resolve among themselves,” said Board Chair Katie Cristol. “Even very reasonable people can find themselves in disputes between neighbors. It happens across the county on a manner of issues, often related to parking and traffic. But that’s not the role of this Board.”

Vihstadt did acknowledge that it’s “difficult and awkward for us up here to be referees” on such parochial issues, particularly as the county looks to expand access to childcare. Cristol, in particular, has focused on the issue, though the Board has faced pushback from neighbors of other day care centers in recent months.

Gutshall and Vihstadt both urged their colleagues to take the complaints of people in the neighborhood seriously, noting that the Board previously deferred a vote on the permit in April to urge the owners to work with the community more closely to resolve these problems. (Between April and May the day care center made concessions that placated the first neighbor to contact the Board, but other households have since weighed in with their own complaints.)

“To add more density will only cause more trouble on an already troubled street,” Kathy Lash, who rents out a house next to the day care, told the Board.

Vihstadt also pointed to a letter from the Cherrydale Citizens Association echoing those concerns and lamenting that the day care’s owners have “a history of unpleasant interactions with affected residents concerning the operation of their day care.”

“Many different residents have reported that the provider’s family members have repeatedly yelled at, and occasionally cursed at, neighbors in response to their concerns about the operation of the business,” wrote Jim Todd, the civic association’s president.

Manbir Nahal, the son of the day care’s owners, told the Board that he had never heard such concerns from the civic association, and offered to meet with the group. Board member Christian Dorsey even argued that county officials shouldn’t be making decisions based on secondhand accounts of neighborhood arguments.

“They were just reporting what they heard,” Dorsey said. “We are not equipped to use that as a finding of fact with which to judge who has, or has not, been a good neighbor. It’s really beyond the point of what our job is.”

Gutshall pushed back forcefully on that point, arguing that it is “absolutely within the purview of this Board to examine whether the proposed use is consistent with good land use practices in a residential zoning district.” He added that he felt it was “incumbent on the applicant” to reach out to the civic association and assuage their concerns before earning the permit.

(Nahal said he exchanged emails with the civic association president but was unaware of the importance of meeting with the group in person.)

A majority of the Board disagreed that there were grounds to again delay approval of the day care’s request and a motion to defer for another month was voted down 3-2. Cristol, however, did urge the day care’s owners to meet with neighbors about their complaints.

As the county continues to grow in population, Board members acknowledged that this is likely far from the last time they’ll hear about such problems.

“This is just part of Arlington being really crowded,” said Board member Libby Garvey.

Photo and map via Google Maps

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Civic Groups Plan Meeting on Potential Cherrydale Senior Living Center

A new senior living center could be coming to Cherrydale on a property along Lee Highway.

McLean-based Artis Senior Living is considering building a new facility on the north side of Lee Highway near the intersection with N. Taylor Street. Representatives intend to bring some development ideas to an April 26 community meeting convened by several civic associations.

The Lee Highway Alliance will play host to that gathering at its headquarters (4620 Lee Highway) at 6:30 p.m. Thursday (April 26), and the Cherrydale and Waverly Hills Civic Associations will help coordinate the discussion.

Sandra Chesrown, president of the Lee Highway Alliance and vice president of the Waverly Hills Civic Association, says Artis has yet to divulge many details of what the new facility might look like so it can first hear the community’s concerns.

Indeed, county real estate records show that Artis, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment, has yet to even buy the 2.7-acre property.

A message sent out on the Cherrydale Civic Association listserv suggested that Artis is considering a “seven-story, 184-room assisted living residence” on the property.

“The facility would allow Cherrydalers and their family members to age right in our neighborhood,” the message read. “It would have a sizable workforce. There might be some issues with parking. We certainly want it to be welcome addition to the neighborhood.”

Made up of five separate parcels of land along the 4300 block of Lee Highway, the property was owned for decades by Louis Courembis, records show. Courembis transferred those parcels to William Murray, a local estate attorney, in September 2015, and the county hasn’t recorded any other sale of the land. Murray did not respond to a request for comment.

The property is currently home to a single-family house and several other structures. All of the land is valued quite highly — county assessments pegged one parcel as worth nearly $3.5 million in 2018, while the other four are assessed from $687,000 to $880,000.

Photo via Google Maps

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County Board to Put Oakgrove vs. Oak Grove Park Debate to Rest

The County Board is set to consider formally changing Oakgrove Park’s name to Oak Grove Park, after Cherrydale residents fought to resurrect the park’s older spelling.

Arlington’s Park and Recreation Commission and the County Manager’s office is recommending the naming clarification, which Harry Specter, a Cherrydale resident who argued in favor of the change, called “a typographical error that was never corrected.”

Per a County Board agenda item, the park was created at the same time that I-66 was in the 1970s. At the time, the park was known by the two word “Oak Grove” Park.

At some point in the 1990s, signage was installed that seems to have mischaracterized the park’s name, omitting the space and calling it “Oakgrove Park.”

The agenda item stated that staff had “not found an official record of a formal park naming process for either the two-word spelling or the one-word spelling” of the park.

However, there has been some inconsistency in how the park was referred to in planning documents, according to the agenda item:

The current Public Spaces Master Plan (PSMP) from 2005 details this park as “Oakgrove” Park. The current General Land Use Plan (GLUP) (2011) and previous versions have identified this park as “Oak Grove” Park. Other County Board adopted documents which characterize this park as “Oak Grove” Park include the Cherrydale Neighborhood Conservation Plan (originally adopted in 1987 with updates in 2005 and 2014) and the Lee Highway-Cherrydale Revitalization Plan (1994).

The Oakgrove Park playground improvements project, slated to wrap up this May, already included “two new metal panels (custom entrance sign)” that would “be installed and will cost about $550 each (approximately $1,100 total)” in the plan.

The “new” name will be on the new signs, so no dedicated costs will be incurred regarding the park’s formal renaming.

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Cherrydale Residents Fight for Proper Spelling of Park

Cherrydale residents are seeking to reclaim the original spelling of a neighborhood park as it goes through a second phase of renovations.

In a presentation at an Arlington Parks and Recreation Commission meeting yesterday (Tuesday), neighborhood resident Harry Spector said he wanted to clarify the spelling of Oak Grove Park as two words and not one word.

There are three signs currently in the park that spell it as Oakgrove. However, the original sign in the park spells it as Oak Grove.

“With this being the oldest sign at the park, it’s clear to us that this was the county’s original intended spelling of the park,” Spector said.

Though the Oakgrove spelling is cited in the county’s Parks and Recreation master plan, Spector said there is no record the county intended to change the spelling.

“It’s a typographical error that was never corrected,” he said.

Other official documents since the 1990s that required county approval have also used the two-word spelling, Spector said.

While it seems the change could be made administratively, Spector said he was directed to the Parks and Recreation Commission by county staff, as there is a two-part process for renaming parks. The commission makes recommendations to the Arlington County Board, which has the final say on approval.

“It’s a little time consuming to correct a typo, but it’s probably the only way to do it,” said David Howell, a commission member.

Spector was hoping to fast-track the change, since the county acknowledges the park as Oak Grove while the department references it as Oakgrove. He said he wants the change to happen before the park’s renovation is complete, sometime between February and May.

The renovations include a new playground for 2-5 year-olds and 5-12 year-olds. There will also be new benches and a new gazebo with picnic tables.

All the members of the committee agreed with Cherrydale residents that the name should be changed, and will be holding another meeting on the protocol of name changing and will include another motion to move forward the spelling of the park.

“It’s kind of absurd to have go through such a process for a simple, obvious grammatical error,” Spector said.

Photos via Google Maps

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Fishing Store District Angling Now Open in Cherrydale

A fishing store is now open in a Cherrydale strip mall that had been planning to host a gun store.

District Angling opened on December 22 at 2105 N. Pollard Street, the former location of fitness business Curves. It sells fishing rods and other equipment, tackle and flies, clothing and other accessories. It also offers courses on fly tying and fly casting, and will host other events for fishing enthusiasts.

The storefront was once set to become the Arlington County home for Nova Firearms, but the landlord pulled the plug on the lease in 2015 after plans to open the gun store prompted heated protests from local residents.

The storefront has sat vacant for the past few years, except for a period as a pop-up holiday gift shop, but it is now home to the fishing store.

The Washington Business Journal reported earlier this year that founder Richard Farino had been looking to open a new store in the region after his Urban Angler store closed last year in Old Town Alexandria. Urban Angler had begun in Arlington in 2008, before relocating south in 2011.

In an email to customers, District Angling staff said:

We’re very excited to announce that the buildout of our shop is complete!  We are open for business just in time for your last minute holiday shopping, and you once again have a place to find your favorite brands, demo new rods, get information about some amazing fishing destinations locally and abroad, and learn new techniques and tricks to help your fly tying mastery.  Now that winter has arrived, we’ll make sure to have coffee.

We’re adding to our inventory and product continues to arrive daily.  We’re increasing our fly tying selection, brought on a few new fly fishing brands, and we have some great new District Angling logo gear for you to show off the place you tell stories about the one that got away.  We’ve added women’s waders, boots, and clothing, and we have gift cards in case you don’t know what to get your favorite angler this holiday season.

The store will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.

Hat-tip to Tim D.

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Girl Scout Troop Sends Holiday Care Packages to Overseas Female Military Members

A local Girl Scout Troop will send more than 400 pounds of care packages to female military members deployed overseas in time for the holidays.

Girl Scout Troop 6802 collected items like coffee, noodles, personal hygiene products, protein bars and magazines to ship to women based in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. Also included are toys to give to local Afghan children and a personalized note.

The four, all eighth graders, loaded up their packages yesterday (Tuesday) at one of their houses in Cherrydale, ready to be sent abroad.

The Troop members are at the Cadette level of Girl Scouts, and used this project to earn their Silver Awards, which encourage Cadettes to help those in the community and beyond.

Troop member Clara Grimmelbein said she was inspired to help plan the project by a personal connection to the military. She was joined in collecting items by Adriana Sheppard, Victoria Jones and Emily Rotter, who took donations from other troops, friends and family.

“My brother is in college and we always send care packages to him,” she said. “My cheer coach, she’s in the military and she recently got out so I got the idea to send care packages to them. They really need it, because they’re really close to the fighting. Not that other people in the military don’t need it, but they’re close to combat.”

Sending the packages proved to be a challenge, though. Finally, after reaching out to friends and neighbors, they connected with Mike Taylor, global head of Dept. of Defense shipping for DHL and a Boy Scout troop leader in Baltimore. He agreed to have the packages all sent for free.

“We put our feelers out to see who could get all these packages delivered, and DHL stepped up,” Sheree Jones, one of the Troop members’ mothers, said.

In a brief appearance over FaceTime during his travels in Asia, Taylor congratulated the Girl Scouts on their efforts.

“You’ve really stepped up to help servicewomen deployed overseas, and you’re doing great work,” he told them.

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Two Injured After Car Hits Tree Near Washington-Lee High School

Two Washington-Lee High School students suffered minor injuries after the car they were riding in hit a tree in a home’s front yard near the school.

The car hit the tree just after 11 a.m. on the 1600 block of N. Randolph Street after veering off the road. The crash occurred in the Cherrydale neighborhood, near the Cherry Valley Nature Area.

It caused damage to the front of the car, but did not appear to have caused much damage to the tree or any of the surrounding houses.

The pair were interviewed by police officers and attended to by paramedics, while startled neighbors came out of their houses to survey the scene.

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Police Investigate Armed Robbery at Cherrydale Gas Station

(Updated at 10:20 a.m.) Arlington County Police are investigating an armed robbery that happened Saturday morning at the Shell station in Cherrydale.

Police say a man with a gun demanded cash from the store clerk and fled on foot.

More from an ACPD crime report:

ROBBERY, 2017-11110100, 3300 block of Lee Highway. At approximately 7:13 a.m. on November 11, police were dispatched to the report of a robbery. Upon arrival, it was determined that a male suspect entered a business, brandished a firearm and demanded that an employee give him money. The suspect stole cash, forced the employee outside of the business and fled on foot before departing the area in a vehicle. The suspect is described as a thin, black male, approximately 6’0, wearing dark colored clothing. The vehicle is described as a light tan or cream colored late-model sedan. The investigation is ongoing.

Also from today’s crime reports, ACPD says officers had to use a police dog to peacefully resolve a home break-in.

According to the crime report, a man broke into a home on the 300 block of N. Glebe Road and went to sleep in a bedroom. He refused police commands to leave the home, prompting “the deployment of a police K-9.”

UNLAWFUL ENTRY, 2017-11090246, 300 block of N. Glebe Road. At approximately 5:47 p.m. on November 9, police were dispatched to the report of a suspicious person. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim arrived at his residence and observed that an unknown male suspect had gained entry to the residence and was sleeping in a bedroom. Arriving officers established a perimeter and made verbal commands but the suspect refused to comply and would not exit the residence. Following the deployment of a police K9, the suspect was taken into custody. Earl Chaptman, 64, was arrested and charged with Unlawful Entry.

Photo via Google Maps

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Asphalt Spill Causes Slowdown on Lorcom Lane

A passing truck spilled asphalt onto Lorcom Lane in Cherrydale earlier this morning, prompting a cleanup and causing some delays.

According to scanner traffic, the truck dropped the asphalt just after 9:30 a.m. Wednesday morning. Traffic slowed on Lorcom Lane’s eastbound lane at Nelly Custis Drive, near the Cherrydale United Methodist Church, as officers from the Arlington County Police Department cleared the debris onto a nearby sidewalk.

Police put flares out to alert drivers to the material in the road, but did not close any roads. Traffic continued to flow normally heading west.

By 10:15 a.m., police had cleared the asphalt from the street and removed the flares.

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Work Underway on ‘Five Points Intersection’ in Cherrydale

Drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians alike should start seeing changes soon to the busy and confusing “Five Points Intersection” in Cherrydale.

Crews are currently digging up areas of the intersection of Lee Highway, Military Road, Old Dominion Drive, N. Quincy Street and N. Quebec Street.

They will upgrade traffic signals, add bike lanes, improve crosswalks and transit stops, widen sidewalks and add new ADA-accessible curb ramps. The intersection also will get new concrete curbs and gutters, sidewalks, driveways, asphalt pavement and street lighting.

Already, several medians around the intersection have been widened, while work is underway to dig up the corner of Lee Highway and Military Road.

During construction, those in the area can expect the following work hours and construction impacts, per a county press release:

  • Work hours will be 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday (9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday in the project area along N. Quincy Street).
  • Construction crews typically will close one travel lane adjacent to the work area with drums/cones while maintaining one lane of traffic in each direction.
  • All businesses located within the project area will remain open.
  • Sidewalk detours and temporary crosswalks will be used to maintain pedestrian access throughout the project area.
  • Several bus stops will be temporarily relocated during construction. Notices will be posted in advance on bus stop flags, and will say where temporary bus stops will be located.

“Improving this busy intersection at the Lee Highway/Old Dominion Drive and N. Quincy Street/Military Road — a major transportation crossing for pedestrians, bikers, transit users and motorists — is part of the County’s larger effort to make the Cherrydale neighborhood safer and more accessible for all modes of travel,” said the county’s Director of Transportation Dennis Leach in a statement.

The work is expected to be completed next summer. County staff spent several years studying ways to improve safety for pedestrians and help simplify some dangerously complicated traffic patterns.

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Gas Station Targeted By Credit Card Skimmers Again

For at least the second time this year, fraudsters have installed credit card skimmers at a gas station in Cherrydale.

Police say a skimming device was found inside a gas pump on the 4000 block of Old Dominion Drive yesterday afternoon, after customers of the gas station “reported fraudulent activity on their bank statements.”

The Arlington County Police Department is encouraging residents to take precautions when pumping gas, noting that new credit card skimmers are more sophisticated and “are undetectable without opening the pumps.”

More from an ACPD press release:

The Arlington County Police Department is warning the public about skimming devices used to steal banking and personal information.

At approximately 2:50 p.m. on Monday, September 18, police were dispatched to a gas station in the 4000 block of Old Dominion Drive for the report of a credit card skimming device located inside a gas pump. Citizens having used this location have reported fraudulent activity on their bank statements. Police are encouraging anyone who has used this gas station to review their bank statements for any fraudulent activity. If fraudulent activity is located, report to police by calling the Emergency Communication Center at 703-558-2222 or file an online police report.

Citizens can take the following crime prevention steps to avoid skimmers at gas stations:

  • Skimming devices have become more sophisticated. In most cases, the skimmers are being placed inside the machine and are undetectable without opening the pumps.
  • Pay inside at the gas station, rather than at the pump.
  • Always pay using a credit card instead of a debit card. Credit cards have better fraud protection, and the money is not deducted immediately from an account.
  • If using a debit card at the pump, choose to run it as a credit card instead of putting a PIN number in. That way, the PIN number is safe.
  • Consider purchasing a refillable prepaid card to purchase gas at the pumps.
  • If you have not already switched to a chip reader on your credit card, do so.
  • Regularly check your bank statements and if you notice fraudulent activity, notify the bank so they can begin an investigation.

Criminals will use a variety of different scams and the Arlington County Police Department wants the public to remain alert so you don’t become a victim. Individuals seeking more information about fraud can visit our website or contact the Arlington County Police Department’s Financial Crimes Unit at [email protected] .

Photo via Google Maps

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Police: Two Arrested After Car Break-ins, Foot Chase

A young man and a boy were arrested in Ballston Wednesday afternoon and charged with stealing items from cars in the Cherrydale neighborhood.

Police say they were called to the intersection of N. Taylor Street and 18th Street N. in Cherrydale just after 4 p.m. for a report of a car break-in and theft that had just happened. Officers found five cars had been broken into and valuables stolen.

The suspects were then spotted fleeing towards Ballston.

“A responding officer witnessed three suspects matching the description fleeing towards the Metro and broadcast a lookout,” according to an Arlington County Police Department crime report.

“Officers responded to the Metro station and observed two of the suspects. Following a brief foot pursuit, one juvenile suspect was taken into custody by officers,” the crime report continued. “A second suspect was also taken into custody by officers. Nathan Outlaw, 19, of Washington, DC, was arrested and charged with three counts of Credit Card Theft. Additional charges are anticipated.”

File photo

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